The sun is squarely framed in the window across from where I am sitting. It is bright white and illuminates fields dusted with last night’s snow. This reporting of the condition of the day serves as a beginning, a connection to my surroundings. When I look up again, the wind is blowing round the house lifting ice crystals into a flurry with sunlight reflecting off each facet. The empty air is electrified with glitter, as if to say the emptiness is not just important, it is not empty.
When I picked up this book to write, I was thinking of the repetition of practice, of the things that connect me to this place, to my day and to those I reach out to. I have been reading about Robert Irwin, who said “as an artist the one true inquiry of art as a pure subject is an inquiry of our potential to know the world around us and truly being in it.” In that Irwin draws no hard lines between himself and his audience, this may be a broad imperative. I am remembering Russell Rowland’s idea being a westerner; recognizing the desire to connect with whatever place you are in. Are being an artist, an art audience, and a westerner, the same? Is my desire to take note of the sun’s position throughout the day part of “knowing” where I am?
I chase light through the house, from window to window, recording its angle and intensity with leftover coffee and the sumi ink I drove 80 miles to get just because it is so lovely on the page. Is this being an artist? A westerner?
I had planned to record resent events: a visit from Stevie and the kids, John’s progress tiling the guest bathroom shower, brisk walks to the post office, short chats with Anne the post mistress, and Judy ever present in the post office, the rabbits in the yard, the deer in the field, the antler I found that was shed this winter in our croquet field, a pheasant strolling in the neighbors grass. These small moments in each day build connection, but just now I am dazzled by the whiteness of the morning and sunlight has just sliced in through the windows. It is time for work.